Apnea: A disturbing sleep disorder

In Canada, 1 person in 20, which represents 5% of the population, suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)*. It is a disorder that causes breathing to stop during sleep and includes various symptoms, such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, fatigue, etc.

To find out if you suffer from OSA, you should consult a doctor for a sleep test and diagnosis. They may prescribe a mandibular advancement splint to clear the airway during the night. This type of treatment must be performed by a dentist, as a generic, ill-fitting splint can lead to serious obstruction problems.

In the meantime, until your next visit to the doctor, be proactive by adopting healthy lifestyle and sleep habits, such as:

  • Getting up and going to bed at the same time in the morning and in the evening
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in bed not sleeping
  • Limiting exposure to screens (TV, computer, game console) in the evening
  • Relaxing with a bath or meditation session before bedtime

Need some advice? The professionals at the Dr. Lechner Sleep Health Clinic are here to help!

*Source: Guide Apnée obstructive du sommeil: Information pour le patient avisé, published by the Collège des médecins du Québec, Ordre des dentistes du Québec and Ordre professionnel des inhalothérapeutes du Québec.

COVID and anxiety: Do you recognize yourself?

Let's face it, many of us are living the present pandemic with anxiety, one of the risk factors associated with sleep disorders. The worry of contracting the virus, uncertainty about the future, or even simply our schedule being disrupted by confinement are all triggers.

In addition to affecting the quality of our sleep, by causing nightmares and insomnia for example, anxiety and stress can also promote the onset of bruxism, which is the grinding of your teeth.* During sleep, bruxism is characterized by repetitive or sustained contractions of the closing muscles of the jaw. Bruxism can be limited to teeth grinding only. In both cases, clenching your teeth causes several clinical manifestations, including:

  • Generalized wear of the dentition
  • Dental fractures
  • Dental abfractions (loss of the hard tissue of the tooth, including tooth enamel and dentin)
  • An acceleration of the loss of bone structure supporting the teeth
  • Joint and/or nocturnal noises disturbing the household

As the sleeper is unconscious, it is impossible to keep them from grinding their teeth! Although there is no treatment to cure it, it is possible to reduce or relieve the symptoms by wearing an occlusal plate like the one you see here.

It comes in the form of an acrylic mouth guard that can be worn day or night, which prevents the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. The jaw muscles can finally relax.

Have you been waking up with:

  • A clenched jaw?
  • A headache?
  • Sensitive teeth?

If you think you have bruxism, our professionals can diagnose it by examining your dentition and jaw muscles. They can also provide recommendations and make a custom-made mouth guard for you. Don't wait for your dental problems to increase your anxiety levels tenfold.  Book an appointment while anti-pandemic measures still allow for consultations.

*Source: Mabouchensanté.com de l'Ordre des dentistes du Québec, Troubles et maladies: Le bruxisme [Online] https://www.maboucheensante.com/article/le-bruxisme/

(page consulted on September 23, 2020).

Do you know about parasomnias?

Are you having nightmares? Experiencing insomnia? Do you have the sensation that you’re falling through the air when you fall asleep? Or do you grind your teeth at night? All these symptoms belong to the same category of disorders, which are called parasomnias, or sleep disorders.

All categories combined, parasomnias affect about 4% of adults and 17% of children.1 There are several parasomnias with varying levels of severity, but they have one thing in common: most people asleep are unaware of their actions. Sleepwalking is a well-known example of an unconscious parasomnia. Parasomnias occur during sleep, but more commonly when a person begins to fall asleep or wake up. They usually last about 30 minutes.

Here is a list of the most common parasomnias:

  • Insomnia: It is estimated that one in 10 Canadians suffers from insomnia, which is not trivial!2
  • Night terrors and nightmares: The sleeper starts screaming and becomes agitated under the effect of fear (a disorder more common in children, most likely).
  • Snoring: Did you know that this disorder affects men more than women, but not exclusively?
  • Sleep apnoea: These respiratory stops during sleep can unfortunately lead to serious health problems.
  • Somniloquy: Many adults suffer from this disorder, which is prevalent in childhood. It makes you talk or scream while sleeping. It’s not enjoyable for your bedmate, however...
  • Sensory hallucinations (or hypnagogic): These occur when the body falls asleep before the brain. The sensation of falling through the air when going to sleep belongs to this category!
  • Bruxism: This is the grinding of the teeth at night, which can lead to tooth wear and jaw pain.

Did you know that most parasomnias occur during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of your sleep, when your brain is active and our body relaxed? During a normal night’s sleep of 8 hours, you go into the REM phase 4 to 5 times, or up to 25% of your time asleep.

Causes and risk factors

Parasomnias have different causes and risk factors ranging from mild to more serious. They are often due to:

  • Anxiety or overwork
  • Sleep deprivation or jet lag
  • Taking medication or drugs
  • A disease
  • Genetics

Some parasomnias are even considered a warning sign of certain degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

When should you see a doctor?

Without worrying too much, it is better to consult a doctor when a parasomnia manifests itself too regularly, especially in adults. You can seek the opinion of a doctor or a psychologist. You can also contact a dentist who is familiar with these disorders, since snoring, apnoea and bruxism often have a cause or a dental impact. A sleep professional can make a diagnosis, assess your oral health and advise you, for example, about the use of a custom-made oral appliance to reduce the disorder and its side effects.

When parasomnia speaks to you, you should listen—and take action!


1 Physiopathologie du somnambulisme, Université de Montréal [Online] https://papyrus.bib.umontreal.ca/xmlui/handle/1866/21157 (page viewed November 5, 2020).

2 Prevalence of insomnia for Canadians aged 6 to 79, Statistics Canada [Online] https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/catalogue/82-003-X201801200002 (page viewed November 5, 2020).

Hello, meditation. Goodbye, pain!

Regular meditation does not only improve your mental health but also boosts your mood. Some studies1 suggest that it helps reduce anxiety, addiction, chronic pain, and blood pressure—all while improving memory, awareness and harmony in interpersonal relationships. Eight weeks of practice is more than enough to reduces stress and anxiety, or help you concentrate. Regularly meditating can even help to partially block1 the sensation of pain, which is very common during a toothache.

1Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain,” Neuroscience Letters, Volume 520, Number 2, June 29, 2012, F. Zeidan, J.A. Grant, C.A. Brown, J.G. McHaffie, R.C. Coghill.

Is sleep important?

Did you know that we spend a third of our lives sleeping? Sleep is considered to be one of the three pillars of long-term good health, alongside healthy eating and active living. However, many see it as a waste of time; people sleep on average one hour less per day than their physiological needs. Good sleep is more than restorative. While sleeping, your body produces a growth hormone that helps children to mature and the time spent sleeping helps the brain to assimilate whatever was learned during the day—at any age! Also, your body secretes a hormone called leptin, which decreases the feeling of being hungry. Sleeping therefore helps reduce the risk of becoming overweight!

Migraines, the silent enemy

Do you suffer from migraines that are affecting your quality of life? Did you know that these can be caused by a simple sleep disorder? In addition to severe headaches, there are tell-tale symptoms related to lack of sleep:

  • Painful jaws when you wake up
  • Difficulty opening your mouth when you wake up
  • Sensitive or worn teeth
  • Stiffness of the next
  • Muscle tension in the head region

The experts at Clinique Sommeil Santé and Dr. Lechner offer several proven and effective solutions. The NTI-tss system has provided relief to more than one and a half million patients around the world. This system requires no medication and has no side effects. It enables you to wear a patented appliance that keeps your teeth from clenching and protects them. This treatment works directly on the intense muscle contraction that occurs at night without your knowledge—and attacks the source of your pain. It provides relieve after only a few days of use and the symptoms, including migraines, gradually diminish in severity or fade away altogether. Why suffer when you can consult one of our experts and say goodbye to migraines?

Plus de 2000 personnes ont déjà retrouvé le sommeil avec notre aide